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Ministry Fair September 17 & 20

Have you ever wondered what the commissions of St. John’s do? Who is on the congregational council? What sorts of things the youth group does and when? What is Food for Friends? If you have ever had these questions or others, or perhaps wondered how you can be more involved in serving God’s kingdom through St. John’s, make plans to visit our ministry fair Sunday, September 17, 9:00-10:00 am and Wednesday, September 20, 5:30-8:00 pm. No pressure to join anything, just come and learn and join in some time together!

Women of St. John’s share the warmth of God’s love

The following message was written by Pastor Corrine Haulotte from the Lutheran Campus Center in Winona. The ladies of our congregation have shared God’s love in our community and throughout the world in a number of powerful ways. One of those is creating and sharing prayer shawls and quilts. Read about how powerful those gifts can be:

In the bleak midwinter of 2010, I received a colorful prayer shawl.

The shawl was sent to Wartburg Theological Seminary following a press conference held on campus regarding the death of [my friend] Ben in the Haiti Earthquake. A woman I have never met (even to this day) sent the shawl with a prayer square and a note to our Academic Dean, asking him to pass the items onto me. Craig explained that she heard me speak about Ben on the news and was moved to send the items.

I don’t remember what I said to Craig, but I remember the feeling that washed over me as I held the soft shawl and square in my hands. It was the same feeling I have each time I pull the shawl around my shoulders, cloaking myself in tangible prayer and colorful love.

Yesterday I held the shawl open for four women at the LCC. Kay, Marlene, another Marlene, and Charlotte from St. John’s Lutheran Church in Kasson met Kelly and me at the LCC with quilts and shawls they had gathered for our students. I shared my story with them, and we all nodded, knowing deeply the simple and profound gift of such prayerful creations.

I also shared a long-held dream of mine: to have quilts and prayer shawls on hand to give to students. Of course, they already knew this. But Kay didn’t know about such a vision when she emailed us in June, inquiring whether or not we could use some quilts at the LCC. (Well, hello there, Holy Spirit.)

There’s more to the story…

The same day I met with these four angels from Kasson, a colleague and friend told me about a prayer shawl and square he had from a woman he had never met. Hmm, I thought, that sounds familiar. “Do you know if she sent a shawl to Wartburg Seminary in 2010?” Later that night, he called: “I received a message today you might find interesting… ‘Yes, I did send two shawls to Wartburg after the earthquake in 2010.’” My jaw dropped. What are the chances that on the same day I told this story and received beautiful quilts and shawls for our students, I would also receive a connection with this other woman?

Dear LCC friends, we just never know, do we? We never know what an impact we might have on one another. I want to invite you into this impact at the LCC. Please pray for our ministry together; consider offering a financial gift to further our ministry; perhaps offer a quilt or shawl to campus ministry, or a friend (or stranger!) in need. If you’d like to be part of this dream unfolding, please let me know!

Imagine the students who will wrap prayer about their shoulders and receive healing balm for their hearts through these quilts and shawls. Just imagine…

With gratitude,
Pastor Corrine Haulotte

Awesome participation in Middle School MOE

Ministry of Encouragement (MOE) had another successful “thank you/appreciation” at the Kasson-Mantorville Middle School on May 16. Again, all food and beverages were donated by volunteers and we had an awesome number of people at the school bright and early to thank our teachers. Included in this group were many 8th grade confirmation students and their group guides. These 8th grade boys not only brought food but parked themselves at all the doors to welcome everyone. It was a wonderful quick morning, so appreciated, and this is a great service that we do for those who serve others. Thank you to all our volunteers, including our office staff and custodian.

At this time, our next MOE is planned for September. Stay tuned for details!

Kasson-Mantorville Middle School MOE on May 16

Our next Ministry of Encouragement (MOE) visit will be to the Kasson-Mantorville Middle School on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. This will be an early morning celebration, and we will meet at St. John’s at 7:00 am and hustle off to the Middle School to get set-up for them before their meeting at 7:30 am. You can either meet at the church or be at the school by 7:15 am. We will thank all the middle school personnel, about 65-70 people. Sign up to attend and/or bring food online or there are paper sign-up sheets at the Welcome Center. We will show our appreciation for all those who are teaching and working with our students so plan to join us. This is open to any volunteer to attend and/or donate food. Any questions, contact Ardis Grovdahl at grovdahlardis@kmtel.com or (507) 634-7644.

KM Middle School MOE on May 16

Our next Ministry of Encouragement (MOE) visit will be to the Kasson-Mantorville Middle School on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. This will be an early morning celebration, and we will meet at St. John’s at 7:00 am and hustle off to the Middle School to get set-up for them before their meeting at 7:30 am. You can either meet at the church or be at the school by 7:15 am. We will thank all the middle school personnel, about 65-70 people. Sign up to attend and/or bring food online or there are paper sign-up sheets at the Welcome Center. We will show our appreciation for all those who are teaching and working with our students so plan to join us. This is open to any volunteer to attend and/or donate food. Any questions, contact Ardis Grovdahl at grovdahlardis@kmtel.com or (507) 634-7644.

Our quilting ministry

The women of St. John’s started quilting for the season on November 9, 2016. Thanks to help from our custodian, Evan, and Mark (in Evan’s absence), the Fellowship Hall is transformed into a quilting room every Wednesday. Women begin arriving 7:30-8:00 am and stay as  long as they wish. Usually everything is cleaned up and put away by noon. Our attendance varies from 12-22.

You may have noticed the two totes in the hallway across from the office. One holds kits which contain enough blocks to make a 60″x80″ quilt top and can be taken home, sewed together, and returned to the second tote when completed.

On Wednesday mornings the women put the tops together along with a back and a filler. hese are tied with contrasting yarn. When tied, the edges are pinned together and ready to be zig-zagged.

So far this season we have completed approximately 160 large quilts and 65 smaller ones. Recipients of these quilts have included: Dodge Board & Lodge, Christmas Care & Share Boxes, Habitat for Humanity, Refugee Resettlement, Salvation Army, Hope Lodge, Dorothy Day House, Next Chapters Ministry, Families First of MN, Birthright, Family Promise, Lutheran World Relief, and various local disasters and fundraisers. Each child baptized at St. John’s has received a small quilt.

Thank you to everyone who has donated sheets and fabric and has sewn together the blocks. We are grateful to Thriven Action money which helps in the purchase of the filler.

Quilts may be purchased for $25 (small) or $50 (large). You may contact the office or any quilter to purchase.

We blessed the quilts at worship on April 30 and May 3.

We blessed the quilts at worship on April 30 and May 3.

Doing good at WELCA Doing Day

WELCA Doing Day on March 15 was filled with mission work that will benefit many around the world. The quilters completed 5 quilts. The quilts made throughout the year were distributed to many local missions along with Lutheran World Relief.

Also completed and sent to Lutheran World Relief were:

  • 42 baby care kits
  • 39 school kits
  • 34 personal care kits
  • 20 fabric kits

Kits completed and delivered to Global Health Ministries included:

  • 46 newborn kits
  • 26 hospice/AIDS kits

We took time out for a wonderful potluck lunch, and the CKP students came in and performed for us. A big “Thank you” to everyone who donated items and helped put the kits together. A special “Thank you” to Bruce and Jeannine Allen for delivering the kits to Lutheran World Relief and Global Health Ministries in the Twin Cities.

17 Doing Day Colleen & Barb - web

17 Doing Day Quilt - web

17 Doing Day Marilyn & Barb - web

17 Doing Day Genny & Shelly - web

2016 Annual Report

At St. John’s Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 29, 2017 (11:30 am), the congregation will review the annual report from 2016 and vote on business for the future of the congregation.

Download the 2016 Annual Report here.

Be sure to take a look at the Narrative Budget as well – it explains the ministry we do together as a congregation and how your financial giving supports that ministry.

Haiti Trip Informational Meeting

There will be an informational meeting about our trip to Haiti on January 11 at 7 pm, following worship.

This meeting is for anyone who is interested in going in June 2017. Dates are still being worked on.

More about our ministry with Haiti at www.stjohnskasson.org/haiti-mission

Reflecting on the first year, looking ahead to a great summer

Pastor Dana

Pastor Dana O’Brien
Associate Pastor

Pastor Dana O’Brien
Associate Pastor

It occurred to me the other day that I’ve been at St. John’s for just over a year. (I started in May 2015.) And I just want to thank you all for this last year. I know that lots of the stuff we tried was a bit different for many of you – certainly not something that you were used to – but you jumped in with both feet, often going well outside your comfort zones to try something new. You were even willing to humor me on some of those things you may have thought were really weird (watching movies in worship, for example).

I was particularly reminded of how great you all are last week. On Tuesday, we had our most recent ministry of encouragement (MOE) visit to the local elementary school. I had never done an MOE this big before – over 100 people – and I’ll admit I was a bit concerned about whether we could pull it off. But I needn’t have worried. On Tuesday morning we had about 15 people who came and set everything up with an efficiency that was pretty darn impressive. And then there was the food! Over 30 people prepared so much food that we filled up three tables, had some piled up under the tables and had to bring some back. God’s abundance reflected through the people of St. John’s!

And then on Wednesday, we had our first worship service in the park. Again, so many people stepped up to be involved. People brought food, helped set up (a special thanks to Terry Czeck for sharing his grilling skills), and then stayed to clean up afterward. If our first service was any indication, the kids will definitely be taking the lead. They participated in communion, in the bike blessing and singing, and they did a great job starting to fill our jar with stones as they shared places they saw God this last week.

Not to be outdone were all of you who worshipped Sunday morning. (It was so packed we almost ran out of bread for communion – a wonderful problem to have. C’mon, I challenge you – bring your friends and neighbors, so we have so many people we have to use two loaves on Sunday morning.) Anyway, not only did you show up big time on Sunday, but you also stayed for quite awhile to chat afterward – really nice.

I look forward to the remainder of the summer, with more Wednesday worship services, and more events to get us out of the building. We’ve got our Family Fun Night at the end of July (July 28) and we’ll also be in the park a couple of time with our free kids games. Food for Friends will also be continuing all summer long. And then there’s VBS, the youth trip to Philadelphia, confirmation camp and action camp in August . . .

It’s going to be a great summer!!

2015 Annual Report

At St. John’s Annual Meeting on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 (7:15 pm), the congregation will review the annual report from 2015 and vote on business for the future of the congregation.

Download the 2015 Annual Report here.

Be sure to take a look at the Narrative Budget as well – it explains the ministry we do together as a congregation and how your financial giving supports that ministry.

Friday Roundup – November 13, 2015

What have we been up to in the last week?

Prayer Pillows Milestone

Last Sunday and Wednesday we celebrated a faith Milestone by presenting 3-year-olds with Prayer Pillows. Throughout the year, they will receive a postcard of prayers to learn with their family, one each month. The pillows are made by Colleen Jacobson and are a gift from St. John’s in part of keeping up with our congregation’s baptismal promises.

Prayer Pillows for 3 yr olds

WELCA Thankoffering

The women of St. John’s celebrated their Women of the ELCA (WELCA) thankoffering on Sunday the 8th. The celebration included bringing food and supplies for  SEMCAC Food Shelf and special offerings which are sent to Churchwide Women of the ELCA. These offerings are then used to support and strengthen our partnership in supporting the important ministry efforts of women. Thankofferings show gratitude for God’s blessings. Women have been celebrating Thankofferings since 1889 along with Episcopal and Methodist women. Thankofferings make it possible to support many different programs and organizations.

Kickoff to 12th Grade Quilt Milestone

Each year, high school seniors at St. John’s are invited to receive a quilt from St. John’s upon their graduation. They work throughout the year to choose the fabric and help put the quilt together, so they have to start early! They met for the first time on Sunday. If you missed it, contact Lindsay (Lindsay@stjohnskasson.org or (507) 634-7110) to get started. Thank you to Jen Smith for coordinating this ministry!

Pastors Mioche & Joas Visited from Haiti

Pastor’s Mioche and Joas visited from Haiti on Wednesday. For 11 years we have supported Pastor Mioche’s ministry. It was great to get an in-person update from them! Read more about this ministry partnership here.

Operation Christmas Child Packing Party

Operation Christmas Child packing is in full swing and people gathered Wednesday night for another session of packing boxes. Next week starts National Collection Week and other organizations will be brining their packed boxes to St. John’s.

Ministry of Encouragement to City Hall

On Thursday, November 12, we had a great visit to Kasson City Hall to express our appreciation for all the people there do to keep our community running. And the new City Administrator was even able to be there!

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Family Trip to the Dells

Right now five families from St. John’s having a blast (we hope!) in Wisconsin Dells at an indoor water park. It’s a great excuse to get away and pretend to be somewhere tropical!

November 12 Ministry of Encouragement

Thank you to everyone who helped with our First Ministry of Encouragement to the Fairview Nursing Center.

Our next MOE is Thursday, November 12. We will meet at St. John’s at 9 am and head over to the Kasson City Hall, where we will thank those in the Public Works and the city offices for all the behind work they do to keep things running: plowing streets, repairing roads, providing electricity, maintaining water and sewer service, and answering questions and doing other “City stuff” in the office. We are blessed to live here, so let’s thank some of those who make that possible.

In addition to our words of thanks, we’ll bring certificates and treats. If you can’t come, and want to help, sign up to bring bars, fruit or veggies, drinks, or paper products. To donate or come with, sign up in the office with Pastor Dana. These are powerful events – God always shows up big time!

(More info.)